- Treat the Whole Child
It may be nutritional. - She might be hungry.
It may be emotional. - Maybe she was embarrassed at school.
It may be attachment. - Maybe I gave her a look that shook her to the core.
It may be physical. - She may be coming down with a cold.
It may be sensory. - She may need some rough-housing.
All of these things come into play, and it takes more wisdom than I have to figure this out. But if I always keep these things in mind, it helps to keep things in perspective.
For instance, her teacher wants her to read every night. I'm all for reading. I am excited about the progress she's making with it. BUT, if she is an emotional wreck, I must work on getting her back into regulation before we can even attempt to read. Some nights, we just don't read.
- Constant Reassurance
- Giving Voice
We give her voice through her words. When she asks for something, we try to immediately meet her needs. Every time we do that, it speaks to her heart, "Your needs matter to me. I will meet your needs. Your voice is a powerful tool to express yourself." Sometimes Cupcake expresses her feelings with behavior. If I have the presence of mind to do this, I will say, "Wow! You seem to be really mad. I wonder if you are really ________? (worried about Daddy's trip next week, embarrassed about what happened at school, jealous of your sister's new shoes, etc) This helps teach her to express her feelings more exactly (and less physically).
- "I'm Listening"
- "Do You Trust Me?"
These things don't even seem like "effective disciplinary techniques" because their not. They are connecting strategies. When a child feels safe, loved and connected, the correction is easy (or easier, anyway).
More to come.
Blessings to you,